Solution to Sound Problems in Ubuntu 9.10

Troubleshooting the sound problems in linux is an annoying one. We all expect that the sound devices should work as charm. But, sometimes, they never do their job. 😦

Ubuntu 9.10 comes with the PULSE audio driver. There is ALSA too. some other mini drivers also available to drive our speakers and microphones.

As I communicate to people via email, chat and irc, I hardly use any VOIP applications. Wondered o ubuntu 9.10, when it gave me the voice chat via empathy. Skype also gives VOIP. I use the speakers extensively to enjoy the heaven by music.

Pulse seems stable. But it gives issues on when we update our ubuntu. I regularly update it. But luckily, Pulse never broke my audio experience.

The story is much different for some people. Pulse kills many people, who lives with microphone in skype or empathy. 😦

My manager, Mohana krishna, is one of such a person. He was struggling with ubuntu and skype.
He really struggled a lot with pulse.

He read so many blogs, forums, discusses with me, googled a lot, installed, uninstalled, upgraded, downgraded, reinstalled ubuntu, did all the things many times.

Atlast, he found the solution for a stable pulse.


Here, I give his words.


Hey shrini,

i had problems with  my sound recently with my 9.10. It started with some updates from ubunu where my sound stopped working, my gstreamer-properties app test would not show any errors but then wont play any sound as well. Changing the device to pulse worked for a while then my video stopped working.  symptoms – Volume controller shows up, Audio does not play. video gets stuck [both streaming & device players].

Removing pulse helps but then your volume controller will not be present.

I tried everything& reading through many many many many posts finally this worked.

Removed all files inside ~/.pulse folder using sudo nautilus. or
rm -rf ~/.pulse in terminal.
Added my user name for the audio group sudo adduser ‘mohan’ audio
Removed pulse cookie sudo rm ~/.pulse-cookie
[this was owned by root & was existing in my home folder which caused permission issues]
sudo rm -f ~/.pulse-cookie

The above steps works only for machines where sound device is identified & worked before & is not a solution for problems where sound device is not identified.

If you want to post my findings in any of your blogs feel free to do so.


Sound interesting?

We like people who learns by themself. We can introduce linux to people. But, it is upto them to have self interest to learn and play around. 🙂

Thanks Mohan.


7 thoughts on “Solution to Sound Problems in Ubuntu 9.10

  1. A particular sound problem for me is that Ubuntu sees input and output as hw:0,0 which is extremely annoying and makes it impossible to map the necessary source, in my case in ices2. Hope it will be fixed. Otherwise a charming OS, I managed to fully replace win 2003 with Ubuntu for my forum, radio, dc++ hubs etc.

  2. Ok,

    I logged out and looged in, and yeah, it created a different user. but in the original one, there was no sound available, so I installed the basic audio components again and didn’t got any more problems using skype (although) I was’nt using the video.
    How can I delete this new user

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